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Winter Camps

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 8:01 pm

Do your kids love summer camp?  Perhaps they can attend camp in the winter!

The Exploratorium in San Francisco is offering a Winter Day Camp from December 20-24.  At the Exploratorium, campers will explore the science of crafts.  Each day will bring a new way to get creative with crafts, after investigating the science that makes them possible.  Sounds like a blast!

Perhaps you can check out your local zoo, your local Discovery Center and the Science, History and/or Art museums near you.  Consider equestrian clubs, karate schools and any type of organization that offers lessons your child might be interested in.  Many organizations offer winter camps.

Camps are fun…and fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

Finger Math–The 9X Rule

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

Multiplying by 10 is easy!  Multiplying by 9 is too!  You can do it with your fingers!

Place your two hands in front of you.

On your left hand–

  • 1X9=9, Fold down your pinky–how many fingers remain?  NINE
  • 2X9=18, Fold down the second finger, the ring finger of your left hand.  What is the configuration now of your fingers?  ONE and EIGHT!
  • 3X9=27, Fold down the third finger–you’ll have TWO and SEVEN fingers showing.
  • 4X9=36, Fold down the fourth finger–you’ll have THREE and SIX fingers showing.
  • 5X9=45, Fold down the fifth digit–the thumb–and you’ll have Four and FIVE fingers showing.
  • 6X9=54, Fold down the sixth digit–the thumb of the right hand and you’ll have FIVE and FOUR  showing.
  • This works all the way up through ten–with the little finger bent down on the right hand, you have NINE fingers and ZERO fingers showings.

It’s fun.  It’s easy.  And your little ones will love it!

Fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

(1) Spread your two hands out and place them on a desk or table in front of you.
(2) To multiply by 3, fold down the 3rd finger from the left. To multiply by 4, it would be the 4th finger and so on.
(3) the answer is 27 … READ it from the two fingers on the left of the folded down finger and the 7 fingers on the right of it.

This works for anything up to 9×10!

Practice Makes Perfect–in Math!

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

Virtually any learning process is the equivalent of building. In effect, learning means building a structure of knowledge. This requires solid foundations and secure linking of any component, added to the structure.

Mathematics, more than any other field or discipline, dictates the necessity of solid foundations. Furthermore, it does not allow gaps in the foundation of knowledge, because to learn a new concept requires the use of acquired skills.

MathSteps is dedicated to allowing students to build their math skills by continuous practice. Only by observing the step-by-step demonstration and by applying the learned concept in repeated practice does the knowledge become a part of a solid foundation of knowledge.

MathSteps teaches kids how to develop the ability to think logically and to apply this skill in future problems. This essential tool builds their self-confidence and allows them to master more complex concepts in higher grades and becomes invaluable in other subjects, requiring the use of math, such as physics and chemistry.

Fun learning is forever learning.

Ann Simpson

Making Thanksgiving Fun

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 4:24 pm

In the United States, Thanksgiving is observed on the fourth Thursday in November.  It is the day that we give thanks for all that we have.  It is a day of family and traditions. It is a day of history.  It can also be a very adult day–a bit tedious for children.

Perhaps you can think of, and incorporate games, crafts and new traditions geared towards the younger members of your family.  Just googling fun Thanksgiving ideas for kids will give you a great start.

Two links, full of Thanksgiving printables, art projects, etc., include–

And how about a few Thanksgiving jokes?

If April showers bring May flowers, what do May flowers bring?       PILGRIMS!

What key has legs and can’t open doors?       A TURKEY!

Besides carrots and potatoes, what kind of vegetables go great with turkey?       BEETS me!

Happy Thanksgiving!  And remember, fun learning is forever learning.

Ann Simpson

What is a Homeschool Co-op?

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

A homeschool co-op is a group of homeschool families that join together to share in the education of their children.  Benefits of a co-op include:

  • an opportunity for homeschool children to experience learning in a group setting
  • socialization opportunities for both the students and the parents
  • the expertise, talents and interests of parents being shared among all students
  • the cost of supplies and expenses being apportioned among all parents

Often classes taught in a co-op are those of a more difficult nature (Math and Science), classes that require quite a bit of set up/clean up or that require specific tools (Cooking, Welding), those in which a group of students makes for an optimal experience (Physical Education) and classes that cover a very specific topic taught by an exceptionally qualified parent (ie., an artist teaching Modern Art).

Co-op classes can be an educational and fun addition to your homeschooling program.

Ann Simpson

Birds as Teachers!

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

Students are flocking to Tracy Aviary in Salt Lake City to learn that birds are a lot more than pretty tree ornaments–they’re teachers!  Their migration signals the turn of the seasons and links us to faraway lands.  Their physical features show us the endless connections between form and function, habits and habitats.  Their easily observable activities remind us of the myriad ways that living things act and interact.  Because they link us to so much of our shared world, the study of birds opens windows to understanding about entire landscapes and our own roles within them.  Check out Tracy Aviary, as well as aviaries and bird sanctuaries near you.

Birds are interesting and fun to watch–and fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

Lie vs. Lay

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

When does one use the word “lie” vs. the word “lay” ?

Do you avoid these two words all together because you don’t want to get it wrong?

Well,  here is the rule–

LIE means “to recline”.  It is intransitive and never takes on an object.     I LIE DOWN ON THE BED.

LAY means “to put”.  It is transitive and always takes an object.      I LAY MY BABY DOWN FOR HER NAP.

What’s confusing, is the past tense of LIE is LAY.     YESTERDAY, I LAY ON THE BED.


Still confusing?  A little!

Just remember, fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

Worse vs. Worst

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

I admit, worse vs. worst–two more words I use to avoid because I was never sure which to use!

So, in case you’re wondering–

Use the word worse when comparing two things.  An example of this –“In my opinion, brussels sprouts are worse than cauliflower”.

Use the word worst when comparing more than two things, such as, “Both brussels sprouts and cauliflower are bad, but onions are the worst!”

I can remember it now!  And remember, fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

Fall Back

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

Most of the United States begins Daylight Saving Time at 2:00 a.m. on the second Sunday in March and reverts to standard time on the first Sunday in November.

And yes, the official spelling is Daylight Saving Time, not Daylight SavingS Time.  We tend to put the S at the end of SavingS because it flows better.

And who, might you ask, originally thought of the idea of Daylight Saving Time?  Benjamin Franklin!  He wrote a humorous paper entitled, An Economical Project,  on the thrift of natural light vs. artificial light.  In addition to changing the clocks, he suggested, “Every morning as soon as the sun shall rise, church bells and, if necessary, cannons shall inform the citizenry of the advent of light and awaken the sluggards effectually and make them open their eyes…”

Sounds like he knew a teenager!

Remember, fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

Amusement Park Homeschool Days

Filed under: Daily News,Educational Adventures — dailynews @ 2:00 am

Amusement parks frequently have Homeschool Days in which they offer tickets at a discount.  Not an educational activity?  But it is if you couple it with amusement park physics!   Your children will learn the science behind the rides and they will be more adventuresome when they realize the rides are safer than they appear.

A link explaining amusement park physics  can be found at

You can even expand the learning process to other things you will find at the amusement park.  How do they make cotton candy?

What animals might be at the amusement park?  What else is amusement park related that you can turn into a lesson?  There are so many options!

Six Flags in Vallejo, CA has their Homeschool Day on November 11th.  Check the amusement parks near you.

And remember, fun learning is forever learning!

Ann Simpson

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